Frigid Fall Bring Frosty Morning and Freezing Flurries, Are you ready for Winter?

By Zachariah Ralph

The Home Energy Makeover trailer will be open in Woodstock on November 12 from 12:00 until 3:00.

The Home Energy Makeover trailer will be open in Woodstock on November 12 from 12:00 until 3:00.

In many ways weatherization is like infrastructure, very important but not appealing because maintaining something old is not as attractive as building something new. It may not be the “sexiest” option, but creating more efficient homes is extremely important. In Vermont we have a tradition, we green up in the spring and button-up in the Fall. Button Up Vermont Day of action reminds us that tightening up our homes for the winter is just the thing to do.

Energy conservation is essential in creating a sustainable future. If everyone in the state wanted to get their electricity, including heating needs, from renewable sources of energy it would put a huge demand on our current electrical grid which would require massive, costly upgrades. To minimize this impact homeowners must reduce their energy consumption.

Many homes in Vermont are over 100 years old making us the second oldest housing stock in the country. Because of their age, many homes are inefficient, allowing for heat and air conditioning to literally go right out the window. Creating a more efficient home, or weatherizing your home, will save you money. Many weatherized homes will see at least 25% in energy savings.

Weatherizing an inefficient home will not only save money, it also reduces the home’s carbon footprint. Vermont’s Comprehensive Energy Plan wants to see us reduce our carbon emissions; one of its goals is to have 80,000 homes reduce their energy usage by 25% by the year 2020.

Not everyone can afford to pay out of pocket for weatherization upgrades, but don’t let that stop you there are many great programs around Vermont to help incentivize weatherization Projects.
The Capstone Community Groups offer the Weatherization Assistance Program to income qualified renters and homeowners. If you qualify they will come and complete upgrades on your home at no cost to you. Contact them immediately if you think you qualify as the waiting list can be long.

COVER Home Repair helps make homes more airtight saving home owners money on heating. They are willing to work in some way with all home owners and renters (with permission from landlords). COVER uses a sliding scale based on income to determine product costs. COVER works with qualifying home owners and volunteers to supply the labor at no charge.”

Efficiency Vermont’s new Mobile Home Replacement program works to incentivize mobile home owners to replace their old inefficient homes with more efficient and sustainable options like Vermod Homes or Irene Cottages. Efficiency Vermont will pay up to $10,000 have your old mobile home replaced, and also to lay a foundation for the new mobile home. They will also work with homeowners to find financing options for a new mobile home.

Weatherization is not only about adding insulation. For many homes, simple free or inexpensive conservation and air sealing measures are the most cost effective means of increasing comfort, reducing heat loss and saving money. Here are some quick tips:

  • Put plastic film over windows
  • Replace worn weather-stripping
  • Plug holes in exterior wall
  • Insulate outlets
  • Tune up your furnace
  • Get a programmable thermostat

Sustainable Woodstock will be hosting a weatherization Workshop for this upcoming Button Up Day, Nov. 12th. We are excited to also be bringing the Home Energy Makeover trailer. This home weatherization exhibit is a perfect way to see firsthand where leaks occur in a home. There will also be a presentation from Efficiency Vermont, a Raffle for a DIY Weatherization Basket, and free LED lightbulbs! This workshop is for Vermont homeowners to help them better understand the steps they can take to make their homes more energy efficient and comfortable in very clear language and simple steps. We encourage Vermonters across the state to take action by “Buttoning Up” their homes.

Learn more about weatherization on the Sustainable Woodstock website: sustainablewoodstock.org.

Just Do One Thing – Visit the Home Energy Makeover Trailer and attend our Button Up workshop on November 12.

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